This is my losing Powerball lottery ticket. The jackpot was estimated at about $550 million last night before I bought it.
Typically, I don’t buy lottery tickets, but the lottery bug bit because the jackpot was so large. Apparently I wasn’t the only one bit. When I stopped in at a local grocery store to pick up a ticket, the lady behind the counter said, “Powerball ticket? How many?” before I got a word out. I said, “How did you know?” She said, “Because my finger hurts from using the machine all day.”
So, I bought my ticket even though I never win lotteries. This is why I don’t typically play. I’d rather have the buck or two in my pocket instead of a worthless piece of paper with random numbers on it.
When the jackpot gets monsterously huge, however, I take the chance, but I do so with full knowledge that I’m contributing to the wealth of another. As happened last night with my losing lottery ticket. And I do so willingly. (I’m such a socialist. You’re welcome, last night’s winners. 😉 )
Perhaps, if our tax system was set up like a lottery, wherein some lucky taxpayer had a chance to win a cash jackpot, we’d all be more willing to pay taxes.
Oh, yeah, that’s right. In the case of the Minnesota Lottery, here’s where some of the proceeds go:
“The state constitution and law determines the distribution of Lottery proceeds. Currently, the state General Fund receives 60 percent of proceeds. The remaining 40 percent of proceeds goes to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. In addition, the first 6.5 percent of Lottery sales (in-lieu-of-sales tax) is directed to the Game and Fish Fund, Natural Resources Fund and General Fund.”
So, at least in the case of the Minnesota Lottery, we do have a lottery that is also a tax (not counting the taxes collected on winners) and many of us willingly pay it.